Read advance reader review of Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak, page 4 of 6

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Seven Days of Us

A Novel

by Francesca Hornak

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak X
Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Oct 2017, 368 pages

    Oct 2018, 400 pages


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Page 4 of 6
There are currently 36 member reviews
for Seven Days of Us
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  • Johanna M. (Naperville, IL)
    On the first day...
    Every Christmas I choose a book with a holiday theme to enjoy either on vacation or just as family gathers in our home. SEVEN DAYS OF US caught my attention right away because of the premise of a family together for a week! I began reading hoping I'd get some advice or find some similarities as I recalled past family gatherings. It did not fail as Ms. Hornak managed to incorporate about every possible family scenario and the widest variety of personalities ever imaginable under one roof! Some even just "fell in" the front door! And secrets? Make sure you clear any of those up before you spend a week with the entire family!!! Very much an enjoyable read with straight forward plot lines and short chapters which make SEVEN DAYS an easy read during busy holiday schedules.
  • Margie Smith, blog:
    What if? A disfunctional family is quarantined for a week
    I enjoyed this first novel in spite of a few unrealistic coincidences and some predictibility. It involves a family of four—Andrew and Emma, the parents; and Olivia and Phoebe, adult daughters. They're quarantined during Christmas week in their stately, historic country home in northern England because Olivia has just returned from treating Liberian children who were infected with the highly contagious, often fatal virus, Haag (hmmmmm, sounds like Ebola.) The plot was rather predictable and the multiple coincidences were awkward, but it was nicely written, with well developed characters, each with his/her own voice, likes, dislikes, fears, suspicious, and secrets. Secrets! Oh my!! Secrets galore. The set up is full of secrets: Emma has a medical diagnosis she doesn't want to disclose yet because it might spoil the family's Christmas; Andrew has just received an email from Jesse, a young man he didn't know existed, who claims to be his son, the child of a former girlfriend; Olivia is in love with a fellow medical worker in Liberia, but there's a serious life-or-death complication; and Phoebe is engaged to be married to George but is having some doubts about the wedding that she is not admitting, even to herself. Of course all the secrets get spilled before the week is out. The quarantine is complicated by the arrival – and subsequent quarantine -- of George, then Jesse. But the characters are likeable, the story clips along, the family dynamics are fascinating and – even though I guessed correctly – I wanted to see what happened.
  • Christine P. (Gig Harbor, WA)
    What I Did On My Christmas Vacation
    Spending time with the family over the holidays is what most of us do. In Seven Days of Us, it's a bit different; they are under quarantine because one family member has been on an aid mission where a deadly disease has broken out. In the days leading up to Christmas, we see all the typical behavior and feelings we go through when being with the ones we are supposed to care about most. The characters are very self-absorbed for a variety of reasons. What Francesca Hornak does is show us how these individuals move from that self-absorption to showing the depth for which they care for each other. It's quite moving. One of the blurbs on the back of the book says the book is "hilariously funny", another "laugh out loud funny". I was quite surprised by this. I think the writer and her writing need to be taken more seriously. It gives the impression that the book is trivial and while humor is used, nothing is marginalized. I liked the book and I look forward to more from Francesca Hornak.
  • Marilyn J. (Harvey, ND)
    Reminds me of my family
    Such a broad spectrum of problems! This was a perfect summer read--funny, real, and human. The sisters' rivalry and hostility reminded me of my daughters and of my relationship with my sister. Emma and her desire to have everything perfect could have been I when my family all come home. I want everyone to get along, the food has to be perfect and themed, and no conflicts about anything. I really want them all to love the activities I've planned. Yes, that doesn't happen! It was optimistic and realistic and funny and sad, a little dysfunctional just like most of our families.. I loved the British slang, also. If your book club meets in the summer, and you want something light, this might be just the good, quick read for which you are looking. For me, it was the perfect book to curl up with and read until I was finished. Meals and cleaning waited. I thought it was predictable, but wait. We've been through most of those situations, so, of course, I knew what would happen. Some of the situational coincidences seemed as if they just couldn't happen, but that's life. It was such a welcome reprieve from the historical book about the Mayflower I am slogging through.
  • Jackie S.
    A Family Grows Up
    Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak is a light, enjoyable read which is ironic considering the serious and dramatic issues that each of the four family members must confront.

    Ms. Hornak's writing is reminiscent of Maeve Binchey in both style and subject. A group of people (in this case a family) faces a problem or problems which finally enables them to change or grow or get on with their lives. Giving each character their own chapters allows us to get to know them more intimately especially through their inner monologues and various dialogues. Their words are somewhat clipped and to the point and it's the words themselves which gives the reader insight into each character's motivation and thought processes.

    This family is not particularly likeable in the beginning, rather shallow and self-involved, and their secrets and dilemmas seem a little unbelievable to handle in seven days. However, Ms. Hornak manages to move the story along in such a way that when it is over, everything is revealed and we see growth in each character.

    All in all, this book is a good example of a fast paced family drama with enough twists and turns to make the reader want to continue to the end.
  • Tracey S. (Largo, FL)
    fast read
    I enjoyed the book! I read it in about 3 days. I thought it was a little predictable at times, but it was a good read. I liked the characters and the setting. Each character had a different personality and a secret to hide and eventually it all came out in the end. I would have liked a different ending, but it was fine.
  • Marybeth T. (Bellingham, WA)
    Seven Days of Us
    I started out not liking this book at all. There wasn't one character that I felt I could root for. It took me to about the half way point to figure out that my family growing up was just like this one.

    The whole family is really only concerned about themselves, until a crisis developed and then they grudgingly start to think about other people, but only half heartedly. It really starts to pick up toward the end. I'm glad I stuck with it, because it ended way different than I though it would.

Beyond the Book:
  Holiday Survival Guide

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